2 Nov 2006

Niue government may consider custom involvement to ease tensions over land disputes

8:22 pm on 2 November 2006

The Niue government wants a customary approach to help resolve a backlog of land disputes.

Dozens of land disputes are before a visiting New Zealand judge, who is on the island for just one week.

The process is sparking tensions, sometimes within families.

The premier Young Vivian says he is worried at the impact of having land cases pile up when there is little legal advice available locally.

He wonders if justice is being done and wants the process slowed down.

"maybe we should try to adopt some of the customary practices and try and marry it into the system. It is dividing my people. And a lot of people will go to New Zealand, a lot of people are being upset at the present moment. There are no winners, as you know, in land matters, it will go on and on and on."